PRIDE Rules and Regulations
Pride FC was based in Japan and quite a bit different from the Unified Rules and UFC. Because of this, I decided to make a separate page to discuss the Pride rules.
Pride matches consisted of three rounds; the first lasted ten minutes and the second and third each lasted five minutes. Intermissions between each round were two minutes long. In Pride events held in the United States, NSAC Unified MMA rules were used: non-title matches consisted of three five-minute rounds and title matches consisted of five five-minute rounds, both with 60-second intermissions between rounds.
When two rounds of a Grand Prix took place on the same night, Grand Prix bouts consisted of two rounds, the first lasting ten minutes and the second lasting five. Intermissions between each round remained two minutes long.
Pride Fighting Championships does not divide their fighters based on weight divisions per se. A fighter may be booked to fight an opponent of any weight. Weight divisions are used for championship bouts and for Grands Prix to decide a best fighter at a given weight class.
* Heavyweight (more than 93 kg / 205 lb)
* Middleweight (less than or equal to 93 kg / 205 lb)
* Welterweight (less than or equal to 83 kg / 183 lb)
* Lightweight (less than or equal to 73 kg / 161 lb)
Pride used a five-roped square ring with sides 7 m in length (approximately 23 ft).
Pride allowed fighters latitude in their choice of attire but open finger gloves, a mouthguard and a protective cup were mandatory. Fighters were allowed to use tape on parts of their body or to wear a gi top, gi pants, wrestling shoes, kneepads, elbow pads, or ankle supports at their own discretion, though each was checked by the referee before the fight.
If the match reaches its time limit then the outcome of the bout is determined by the three judges. The fight is scored in its entirety and not round-by-round. (In Pride events staged in the United States, however, the fights were scored round by round.) After the third round, each judge must decide a winner. Matches cannot end in a draw. A decision is made according to the following criteria in this order of priority:
1. the effort made to finish the fight via KO or submission
2. damage given to the opponent
3. standing combinations and ground control
4. takedowns and takedown defense
6. weight (in the case that the weight difference is 10 kg/22 lb or more)
If a fight was stopped on advice of the ring doctor after an accidental but illegal action, e.g. a clash of heads, and the contest is in its second or third round, the match will be decided by the judges using the same criteria.
Differences from the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts
Pride’s rules differed from the Unified Rules in the following ways:
* Pride allows kicking and kneeing the head of a downed opponent. This is considered a foul in the Unified Rules, which only allows kicks and knees to the head of a standing opponent.
* Pride allows a fighter to stomp the head of a downed opponent. This is considered a foul in the Unified Rules.
* Pride allows a fighter to spike (piledriver) an opponent onto the canvas on his head or neck. This is considered a foul in the Unified Rules.
* Pride does not allow elbow strikes to the head of an opponent. The Unified rules allows elbows provided they are not striking directly down with the point of the elbow.
* Pride’s matches include a ten minute first round, with two minute rest periods. The Unified rules allow rounds no longer than five minutes, with rest periods not exceeding one minute.
* Pride’s matches are not judged on the ten point must system, rather judges score the whole fight. The Unified rules call for all matches to be judged using the ten point must system.
At the announcement on March 27, 2007 that the Fertittas are purchasing Pride, it was stated that all future Pride events (after Pride 34) would be held under Unified Rules, eliminating 10 minute opening rounds, ground knees, stomps and more, though there were no more Pride events held to use these rules.